I watch a lot of beauty gurus on YouTube. Mostly, they’re 20-something girls who like a lot of glitter and sparkle. There are a few “more experienced” women in their 40s and 50s who do a great job amongst the pretty young things. And then there’s Makeup Geek. Love the name; love the channel. I’ve been watching it for a couple of years and I think the 30-something woman behind the channel, Marlena, is someone to be admired.

She decided to set up the Makeup Geek (MUG) brand, which consists of wonderfully pigmented eyeshadows, gel eyeliners and pigments. When her line launched, there was a 9-eyeshadow starter kit but I decided to wait and see what the reviews were like. MUG eyeshadows have been compared to MAC in terms of quality and staying-power.

I then decided to order the kit but it was sold out. Dang. I placed an alert so I would be notified when it was back in stock. But that happened when I was in South Africa, so I missed out again. Then, a couple of months ago, I received an alert and within five minutes of it being back in stock, I had pounced.

I ordered the starter kit in a dotted leaf Z palette, along with an Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer & Treatment – Light. My HG under-eye concealer – the Covergirl and Olay Simple Ageless Concealer – has been discontinued OMG. Mind you, I’m not 100% certain of this but, to be on the safe side, I’m experimenting with other concealers. I see Marlena use the Eve Pearl concealer in her tutorials and it is a very creamy and effective concealer.

My stuff arrived within 10 days and I’ve been using the MUG eyeshadow kit ever since. It’s very versatile. So let’s look at the colours, which have been personally chosen by Marlena. You’ll see the palette in a photo below. The way I’ve arranged them in the palette is:

Top row L-R.

Creme brulee – a medium sand colour with a soft matte finish. It’s a dupe for MAC Tete A Tint.

Glamorous. A soft bronze gold with subtle shimmer. I like to use this in the centre of the eyelid.

Shimma Shimma. A pearlescent shimmer. I use this for the inner corner of the eye and as a highlighter for top of cheeks, nose and Cupid’s Bow.

Middle row L-R.

Prom Night. My FAVOURITE. A beautiful dove grey, soft purple with a shimmery finish.  A dupe for MAC Satin Taupe only better.

Unexpected. A lovely matte lavender shade with pink undertone.

Mocha. A matte warm medium brown. A dupe for MAC Ground Brown. Great for filling in the brows too.

Bottom row L-R.

Cocoa Bear. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d like this colour when I first saw it in the palette. It’s a matte red brown and is quite unlike any colour I’ve seen before. It really warms up the socket or crease.

Drama Queen. My second favourite colour. A rich, deep purple with a shimmery finish. I love this for the outer corner of the eye.

Corrupt. I think this is very similar to MAC Black Tied or Carbon. This is a super-pigmented eyeshadow and it’s the one I use the least simply because I prefer dark brown shades to get the smokey eye effect. Also, I think the older you are; the less harsh black you should use on the eyes.

The palette itself is fantastic for travel – it’s sturdy and has a magnetic clasp. All the MUG eyeshadows have magnetic bases and snap right into the Z palette. I’ll be travelling pretty soon (news about this soon) and this will be the only palette I’ll take with me.


Each eyeshadow comes in its own attractive package – all were stacked together and tied with a ribbon. Also there was a card from the MUG team – great customer service.


Eve Pearl concealer on the left.


I popped all 9 MUG eyeshadows into the gorgeous Z palette.


How cute is the Z palette!


Eve Pearl concealer top and my HG concealer.


The Eve Pearl concealer is a salmon-tone, which is great for the under-eye area. But I don’t think it’s as good as the Covergirl and Olay one.